Malware-infected ads leapfrog porn as bigger malware risk

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A new research from Blue Coat suggests that malware-infected ads have overtaken pornography as the number one source of malware on mobile phones.

The security company attributes 20 percent of the malware infections on mobile to malware-laden ads. Blue Coat suggests that advertisements on mobile account for 12 percent of requested content, but account for 20 percent of attacks.

The report claims that these advertisements are often displayed through “legitimate ad networks”, but are loaded with “malicious code” that infect users’ mobile phones directly or re-direct them to “malicious sites” that host malware.

Porn on the other hand accounts for 1 percent of requested content, but is responsible for 16 percent of malware attacks.

“While users don’t access pornography that frequently, when they do, they are very vulnerable to malware,” claims the report.

Blue Coat claims that web adverts as an attack vector have grown three times as compared to its penetration last time around in 2012.

“The increased frequency of mobile ads conditions users to see them as normal, which makes users more vulnerable to the attacks that are launched through ads,” the report says.

One of the other findings of the report is that most of the time when a malware is targeting a mobile phone, it is an Android device.

The report notes that the malware isn’t targeting a specific device, but 70 percent of attacks are targeted towards Android devices, while iPhone account for 14 percent.